The UK port of Thamesport has reduced the downtime of its gantry cranes by 50% thanks to a three-year refurbishment programme.

Thamesport is a container port outside of London that has been operating from the Thames estuary since 1990. The port uses a combination of ship-to-shore gantry cranes and terminal tractors to move containers between the container park and the ships. In the container park the containers are moved and sorted by nine driverless rail-mounted gantry cranes.

Over the last three years Thamesport has undertaken a re-powering programme of its diesel powered gantry cranes. One of the requirements of this project was to have a common power package for each crane to improve maintenance and reduce stock holding of parts. The chosen solution was Volvo Penta’s 16-litre diesel engine TAD1631GE, rated at 579kVA prime power, 60Hz.

Volvo Penta says that the first engine has now achieved 24,000 hours without any major maintenance and is still performing well. It adds that downtime has been reduced by more than 50%, which not only gives more time for moving containers but frees up maintenance teams to concentrate on planned maintenance rather than emergencies. Operating costs are another success as fuel economy and oil consumption are both reduced compared with previous engines.

The TAD1631GE is the largest engine in the power generation range from Volvo Penta. The range starts at 85kVA with the TD520GE up to the TAD1631GE.